There are a million reasons why Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship contenders are focused solely on a challenging 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in scenic Monterey, Calif.
The series champion will be awarded a $1 million scholarship toward the Verizon IndyCar Series with three guaranteed races, including the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, in 2016.
“It’s kind of a winner-take-all situation, and hopefully it’s us,” said Spencer Pigot, 21, of Orlando, Fla.
Pigot enters the Sept. 12-13 doubleheader finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca six points shy of front-runner Jack Harvey of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian. Ed Jones of Carlin is 18 points out of the top spot and RC Enerson of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian is 36 points back in fourth in the standings. Max Chilton of Carlin 78 points arrears.
Each race awards 30 points to the winner, 25 for second place through six points for 15th place. One bonus point is awarded for the pole position, most race laps led and the fastest race lap.
Champions also will be crowned after Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheaders on the road course.
Real-time Timing & Scoring and track audio for all Mazda Road to Indy sessions will be available on www.Racecontrol.indycar.com.
Pigot, the 2014 Pro Mazda champion, has recorded four victories among eight podium finishes and four poles with Juncos Racing, also a first-year Indy Lights competitor.
“We’ve all been in this situation before and we just have to focus on our own car, our own race and hopefully we can get a good qualifying spot and stay out front,” he said. “In the back of our minds, we know that no matter what, we have to beat Jack. If we don’t find ourselves out front, that will be our next goal, to make sure we gain points in the first race and see what we can do in the second race.
“Overall, it’s been a great season for me and Juncos Racing. It would be special to win this championship at Mazda Raceway as the Indy Lights Mazda Scholarship driver. We’ll be doing everything we can to achieve that.”
Harvey won both races in the 2014 Indy Lights finale at Sonoma Raceway to tie Gabby Chaves on points through the 14 races, but lost out on the title on a tiebreaker. This season, Harvey has earned two victories among eight podium finishes in his second season with the seven-time Indy Lights championship team.
“Last year, I had two poles and two wins in the last race weekend of the year so I feel very confident in what I can achieve as a driver and I’ve got massive belief in my team,” said Harvey, 22, of England. “It’s just down to me and my team to get the job done. Winning the championship would definitely help our cause progressing forward into IndyCar.”